Soldiers clashed anew with Abu Sayyaf militants, yielding to the death of a bandit and the arrest of another in Maimbung, Sulu yesterday afternoon (February 5).
Troops of the 41st Infantry Battalion also recovered three M14 rifles, an M16 rifle, and a bandolier with M14 magazine and ammunition following a 20-minute armed engagement with the group of Hassan in Barangay Saying Susuk at around 5:10pm yesterday.
The neutralization of the Abu Sayyaf militants came amid the continuing offensives launched by the 11th Infantry Division, Philippine Army to crush the militants, who are behind the bomb attacks on a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu.
Soldiers identified the arrested bandit as Murtasil Paradjil, alias Muster Ibla, who incurred wounds during the gunfight.
Government troops extricated and brought Paradjil to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista in Bus-bus, Jolo, Sulu.
“Your armed forces continue to adhere to the rules of engagement and the principles of International Humanitarian Law, which dictate the protection of hors de combat in armed conflicts, despite the fact that our adversaries only resort to non-conventional methods in armed engagements,” said Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, the commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“This adherence to the laws only ensures the legitimacy of our tactical offensives and our operational accomplishments against terrorists on the ground,” he added. “Still, we will ensure the proper treatment and recuperation of Paradjil.”
Reports from the Joint Task Force Sulu disclosed that the said militants belong to the group of Hassan under Idang Susukan. The same group engaged soldiers of the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion in Patikul on February 2.
“The Abu Sayyaf militants are now on the run after the ferocious gunfight with the scout rangers. They are now splintered into small groups to evade the pursuing government troops,” said Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo, the Joint Task Force Sulu Commander.
“Government forces are still in pursuit of the Abu Sayyaf as we speak,” he added.
Meanwhile, responding troops extricated a wounded soldier, who is currently recuperating at the KHBSH.